Revision 54 as of 2010-04-30 13:31:40

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Foundations Support

As usual, Foundations will be providing Ubuntu support for the other teams. A high-level listing of projects where we likely will be involved is given in this section.


  • As part of their UNE work, Desktop may end up promoting Chromium to main; may need help from Foundations to do this
  • HUGE push for Software Center
    1. goal: sell stuff in software center,
    2. goal: figure out how to deliver opportunistic apps via the software center
    3. finish ratings
  • Big push for touch, not sure what the impact is going to be for Foundations yet, but we need to be aware of it


  • Wayland (no idea what state this is in upstream, and the X side of things should be desktop, but at the very least we'll need to look at how this overlaps/interacts with Plymouth);
  • We probably ought to have a look-in on the multi-screen work, if it's dealing with remembering configurations for individual devices;
  • Installer, first boot, upgrades, Update Manager, and Software Centre;
  • System settings (maybe, depending on what this comes down to);
  • Possibly keyboard indicator but it depends what they're doing (if it's just visual then probably not).


The server team has listed their planning by priority; their bullet items below reflect this.

  • Priority 1: Cloud cluster file system (not sure if we'll be needed for this or not)
  • Priority 2: Java/JDK improvements (doko does a lot of that; Server team is getting a Java person, so this may impact us less)
  • Priority 2: Support of alternate install modes
  • Priority 3: Upstart conversion


  • Improved battery power support work; Foundations may need to (or be able to) assist
  • synaptec multi-touch (multi-finger... not multi-touch)
  • new multi-touch driver enhancements that may need work from Foundations


General Priorities

  • Software Center enhancements (High) - Already planned
  • Multi-touch tablet support (Med) - Foundations work here may not be very strong; DX and Desktop, however, will be deeply involved

Base Platform

  • Hardware support for the new Intel (and likely AMD) CPU/chipset/GPU support (High) - 90% Kernel ownership; 10% Foundations
  • Remove use of intramfs in desktop and netbook editions (Med) - Foundations will support OEM removing this; however, Foundations actually needs initramfs to support more complicated use cases
  • Use swap files by default (instead of swap partitions) (Med) - Foundations would like to see this; there is an existing spec [TODO: find it]; ran into kernel problem (out of memory)
    • More flexible than swap partitions -
    • Need to make this work with hibernate/hybrid suspend
  • Energy Star compliance power settings by default (High) -
  • Add btrfs support - option at install time (High) - Already planned
    • More efficient for storing lots of small files. Helps w/ OS size and may help boot time
    • Supports compression. Good for OS size and may help boot time too.

Usability and Performance

  • Continue boot performance work, 10s goal for Dell Mini w/SSD, Lucid is still above that (High) - This goal was for unity, however there is no harm in continuing work; most work on this will likely be done with Scott finishing upstart
  • Hybrid suspend/hibernate by default. Allows the system to go to sleep, but also stores a hibernate image on disk. If the battery dies, the system wakes from the hibernate image (Med) - this might be ideal... however, not sure how feasible it will be; would make suspend a lot slower; means we'd be forced to use dodgey kernel hibernate code


  • Collaborate with i18n upstream more closely, especially on release schedule, e.g., we missed ibus-1.3 for LTS 10.04 (High) - general platform issue; Foundations will host a UDS discussion for this
  • Per-language ISOs (e.g. a Chinese ISO, a Swahili ISO, etc) (Low) - Foundations can't support this as a whole -- it would explode our test cases; however, Foundations will work with OEM if they need help generating their own ISOs

Small Disk Configuration Support

  • Audit packages and see if "depends" can become "recommends", making it easier for OEM to reduce dependency lists. (High) - let's use the bug-filing process to accomplish this: OEM can file, and Foundations can address this on a case-by-case basis
    • Example: xserver-xorg depends on xserver-xorg-video-all (actually, it depends on this OR a single driver) which pulls in *all* video drivers; if it were only recommended, you could specify only xserver-xorg-video-intel e.g. for your image
  • Remove all on-disk help/documentation and move it online. At the very least, split documentation into separate foopackage-doc.deb and make it a recommends. (High) - this is not appropriate for all use cases; we need to address this on a case-by-case basis; doing for all would guarantee that the index files would explode in size
  • Compressed r/w filesystem (High) - we will get this via btrfs
    • If btrfs is not feasible for some reason, we need a 'blessed' (by distro) r/w filesystem that supports compression (reiser, something FUSE-based, something else?)
    • We need r/w support to prevent the problem of updates taking too much disk space when using a r/o compressed filesystem like squashfs+unionfs
  • Updates for small disks - perform update as a sequence of partial atomic steps to minimize the use of disk (Med) - we do this now... so Foundations needs more detail to understand what need is not being fulfilled; OEM may mean downloading chunks and then applying it?


  • BIOS validation tool (kernel team problem, not foundations? Colin King already working on this?) (High) - mostly Kernel with some Foundations
  • More stress testing before release (Med) - we will create UDS session for this: improving our testing procedures, using more automated tests, further brainstorming, etc.

Support FOR Foundations

Collect here items which we would like to see be done by other teams


  • Java Applet maintainance / development
  • Stable xulrunner-1.9 interfaces when having more than one xulrunner version on the desktop (both eclipse and the icedtea6-plugin don't seem to get it right).


  • Soyuz/IS: Rebuild tests take too long, or slow down PPA buildds.
  • Soyuz: Native syncing via web service, to free up man-hours of archive admin time per week.
  • Buildd configuration, and how to reproduce results from test runs on the buildds. Differences in the configuration of distro and PPA buildds. LP: 556597 as an example. Seen with some eglibc test cases as well.


  • TCK testing

Placeholders for Big Topics

Lucid specs not done

(Numbers in parentheses indicate to-do/postponed/done.)

Lucid specs partly done

Lucid specs mostly done